Label co-founder Andrew Yukon takes the helm for Bravura's ninth release, delivering a colourful and contrast-filled EP in the form of Depth Charges. The four-tracker sees the South London producer develop ideas explored in his last outing for Bravura, Three Ages, drawing on his manifold influences and plotting a course through esoteric Detroit techno and mind-bending acid house.
The EP's title track opens the set with serene chord samples and sparse drum machine patterns leading the way. Joined by gentle synth arpeggiations and sub details, the track builds effortlessly into a tactile and undulating piece of deep, technoid house. After a momentary reduction trains the focus on the rhythm parts, these elements are re-introduced, this time accompanied by distant, sweeping strings, gently propelling the track skyward.
From the subaqueous bliss of 'Depth Charges', Yukon transports us to a distant terra firma with the techno stomp of 'Back on Mars'. Hollow, distorted tones roll atop driving drums, interspersed with jangling electronics and noisy digital squawks, like the distant, garbled sonics of an obsolete modem in its death throes. Ghost-like strings emerge from this decaying rhythmic murk, in the end accompanied by delicate synth plucks for the track's bittersweet outro.
'As Above' sees Yukon further exploring deep celestial planes, creating an exemplary dose of modern house music in the process. Hypnotic bell chimes and glassy atmospherics are balanced by a relentless sub groove and solid house rhythms. Measured progressions ensure that we never go too far down the rabbit-hole and are instead kept under the spell just enough to revel in the gentle tension hidden in the loops.
Closing this diverse quartet of tracks is the aptly titled 'Acid Bath', a volatile chemical fusion of the tougher end of late 80s acid house with contemporary techno aesthetics. Huge drums and churning 303 sequences are the order of the day as the beat ploughs forward - the arrival of sharply-cropped, sizzling synth chord washes only adding to the momentum.